José Pires: Innovation for Value Creation


June 8, 2021

One of the stereotypes of innovation is that of disruption. Massive disruption. Companies like Uber, Netflix and Tesla are all icons of how quickly an industry can be turned up-side-down by the new kid on the block. One that does everything contrary to conventional thinking, yet earns massive attention and incredible success. Unfortunately, ‘disruptive innovation’ is often thought of as purely any situation in which an industry is shaken up by a new company entering the market. One that topples the previously successful incumbents. While companies like those I mention above are certainly examples of disruption, one of the reasons they’re so powerful is because they understand the value they delivered to customers because of the massive change they introduce.

The notion of a connection between innovation and value isn’t one that’s commonly talked about. Yet, finding opportunities to deliver value is at the heart of every finely tuned innovation program. This is something that award-winning innovation leader José Pires has spent his entire career focused on.

Through his work as a leader in companies that include Sony, Nestlé and Black & Veatch, he developed his Excellence & Innovation program that balances the tension between the efficiency of excellence with the chaos of innovation. It’s this tension, José says, that brings out the greatest, most sustainable performance of a company.

These are just some of the things that we talk about in my latest episode of Connect the Dots.

Top takeaways from my conversation with José…

“I think it’s important that we start by saying that it’s important that we have ideas, methods, technologies, and people, but it’s also important that we understand that that is intelligent blending of this components. And these components often have forces that pull in very different directions…In the world of greatness, we must learn to master these contradictions.”

“Innovation is not an escape from discipline thinking, it is an escape with discipline thinking.”

The essence of innovation is simply the ability to take a different perspective on a problem. That’s it. If you’re able to shift your perspective on a problem or opportunity, you have have what it takes to be an innovator. Next, you need to allow yourself to think of yourself as the innovative type, because that’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The way that we look at the world is shaped through the lenses that we use to look at the world. And, the lenses we look at the world with are shaped by our personal experiences.

“Depending on the maturity level of your organization, you have to have some level of governance for innovation. What does the structure looks like? What are the roles and responsibilities? It can be very, very minimalistic, but we must understand the for ideation and maturing these ideas. So, someone comes up with a new idea that can create value in the space. You have a mechanism, someone you can talk to about this idea. And this isn’t some bureaucrat, they are a serial innovator, someone who has done successful collaborations in the past.”

We also cover…

– How a KISS concert served up the right inspiration for how industrial engineers solved a nagging problem
– How our personal experiences shape our perspective of innovation and our role in it
– Methods to translate the inspiration of ideas into a clear path for execution

Dive into our conversation, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.